While friendships at school or university form a solid foundation, those we make as adults are life-changing, says Daisy Buchanan
It felt exactly like the early stages of a romance. It was 2011, and I had tweeted gleefully about the fact that it had only taken an hour to try on and choose a bridesmaid’s dress for my sister’s wedding, so we were spending the rest of the afternoon in the pub, drinking Bloody Marys. Dan, a friendly Twitter follower, who shared my fondness for silly jokes, replied to my tweet, saying ‘@LaurenBravo, this girl sounds exactly like you!’ It turned out that Lauren was Dan’s sister – who would become one of my great loves.
Like any meaningful relationship – or casserole, as Lauren would point out – our friendship started with a slow, steady simmer. Our early, cautious online chats helped us to build a solid connection, as we realised by accident that we have near identical views on everything from Amy Winehouse to luxury hand soap, and custard (we’re big fans of all three).
Admittedly, I was intimidated by Lauren to begin with. We met for the first time at a party organised by our mutual friend Ashley, another Twitter user who had decided she wanted to meet the women who lived in her phone. Lauren reminded me of a blonde Nigella Lawson, right down to the Oreo truffles she’d brought along for hungry guests. She’s shockingly beautiful, but has a real gift for making other people feel beautiful, too. I assumed she was probably too cool and popular to be my friend, so I was surprised and delighted when she came to my birthday party a few months later. She arrived alone, charmed everyone, and for a week afterwards I received messages from other guests asking, “Who was that girl in the gold skirt? She was brilliant!”
I believe our friendship flourished because we didn’t have a history or context for each other. Most of my friends came into my life because of circumstance – relationships forged by shared memories and time spent together. As much as I appreciate all of the friends who have come my way through school, work or university, Lauren and I take each other at face value; or rather, our friendship comes from a connection that’s based on our present selves, not versions of the people we were ten years ago.
Like any new relationship, I think it’s important that we can both be vulnerable with each other. I can tell Lauren my greatest career fears, and she’s able to understand and reassure me because she often feels exactly the same way. As our friendship is relatively recent, she doesn’t fill in the gaps with old pieces of my personal history. She’ll ask how I’m feeling now.
When we talk about true friendship, we often celebrate the people who stick by you ‘no matter what’, especially during the tough times. While this is important, I think the friends we need the most are the ones who lift us up each day, making us feel as though we can survive anything just by being ourselves. This is what Lauren does. She wants everyone to look and feel their best. She’s the only person I’d go clothes shopping with.
When I’m with her, she makes me feel as though we’re proper teammates – when either of us triumphs, it’s a win for the gang. First, we found each other, but then we chose each other. And every moment of our friendship now seems to validate that choice.
Daisy Buchanan’s book, How To Be A Grown Up, is out now